VidCon, also known as the grossest, ego-dipped, IRL-infested place on Earth, kicked off today, so we got a bunch of YouTube-related announcements. The announcements are actually pretty great if you do make a living from YouTube, as YouTube continues to explore ways for creators to get paid.
YouTube is making channel memberships a bigger, more broadly available feature to those with 100,000+ subscribers. With channel memberships, fans of a YouTube channel can pay a monthly recurring fee of $4.99 to support the channel and get perks in return. Yeah, it has a Patreon feel to it, but Twitch has done this for a long time and it’s exactly how a number of streamers over there make a killing. Perks with memberships could be anything, really, but the classic examples are exclusive live streams, shout-outs, access to more content, etc.
Alongside memberships, YouTube is now letting channels sell merchandise. YouTube has partnered with Teespring to let channels make t-shirts, phone cases, and other products that can be purchased right from a channel. (Anyone interested us doing that instead of through our own store?) This merchandise feature will be available soon to channels with 10,000+ subscribers.
And finally, YouTube also introduced a feature called Premieres that sounds kind of cool. With Premieres, creators get to upload content and then set a specific time for it to go live as if they are premiering it. Get it?
When a premiere is set, it gets its own landing page like live streams do, subscribers can be notified that a premier is incoming, and then everyone can gather together in a live chat to watch and react to the video at the same time. This also allows the creator to join in with everyone as the new content debuts.
Premieres begins rolling out today. And yeah, I’d imagine we might try it a few times for unboxings or first looks at phones in the future. It could be fun!